Premiership: Northampton Saints 24-11 Leicester Tigers
|Northampton (17) 24|
|Tries: Burrell, Hartley, Collins Cons: Mallinder 3 Pen: Mallinder|
|Leicester (3) 11|
|Try: May Pen: Ford 2|
Northampton beat East Midlands rivals Leicester for the first time since December 2014 at Franklin's Gardens.
Saints started strongly with Luther Burrell going over early on, and England skipper Dylan Hartley doubling the lead, before George Ford and Harry Mallinder traded penalties.
Ford kicked another penalty even though Tigers had Mike Williams sin-binned.
But Saints dominated as Tom Collins swept over before Jonny May's consolation try late on for Tigers.
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It is the first time in six years that Leicester have lost their opening two league fixtures of the season.
Saints put pressure on the Tigers set-piece from the start, and were rewarded when Burrell scored from 10 metres out after a flowing move from the breakdown.
Hartley, who was impressive throughout, burrowed over from the base of a ruck to double the lead and, but for some dogged defending by Leicester on their own try-line, could have had a second before the break.
Tigers were fortunate not to have Matt Toomua sin-binned for what looked like a deliberate knock-on in the closing stages of the first half, but were reduced to 14 men after the restart when Mike Williams was yellow-carded for a no-armed tackle.
Despite being a man down Ford kicked a second penalty, but it was Northampton who kicked on - George North had a try chalked off for a forward pass before Tom Collins went over after a lovely exchange of passes with Nic Groom, before he beautifully rounded the last defender.
Leicester's England wing Jonny May sensationally latched on to a deep kick in the final minute to give some respectability to the score, but Northampton were impressive as they beat the Tigers for just the third time in their past 20 meetings.
Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder:
"We had to respond like that, there was no other way. We talked about it during the week. The lads knew they played badly and this was their response.
"It's been one of those weeks. You lose games and you don't sleep. You win and life becomes a lot easier.
"Courtney Lawes and Dylan Hartley, your two proper leaders and England internationals, really worked from the front and were outstanding."
Leicester director of rugby Matt O'Connor:
"Two defeats leave us at the bottom of the ladder. We were second at stuff that we pride ourselves on.
"We lost lots of the big moments. We're a disappointed group, but the beautiful thing is that there are 20 games to go.
On decision not to remove Dominic Ryan for a head injury assessment, despite appearing to take a heavy blow:
"Dom made a fantastic cover tackle and in the process winded himself. The physio was on the scene and as soon as the physio gets there, Dom asks, 'Did they score or not?
"That would indicate to me that he's conscious and that he's fine. The physio said he was 100 per cent fine, so there are no issues."
Northampton: Tuala; North, Horne, Burrell, Collins; Mallinder, Groom; Waller, Hartley (capt), Brookes, Paterson, Day, Lawes, Gibson, T Harrison.
Replacements: Haywood, Ma'afu, Hill, Ratuniyarawa, Ludlam, Reinach, Grayson, Foden.
Leicester: Veainu; Malouf, Smith, Toomua, May; G Ford, B Youngs; Genge, T Youngs (capt), Cole, Barrow, Kitchener, Hamilton, O'Connor, Kalamafoni.
Replacements: Thacker, Bateman, Mulipola, Williams, Ryan, S Harrison, J Ford, Tait.